Kevin Pietersen was unceremoniously booted out of the England squad this summer, but spread betting company Sporting Index are predicting he will bounce back and score 320 runs in the four-match Test series against India.
The firm are offering a ‘Team Player’ special on the opening Test in Ahmedabad where punters can bet on the total number of runs England score while KP is at the crease, with a prediction of 142.
Another market, ‘Kevin Can Wait’, the number of runs England score before KP comes to the crease, is quoted at 87.
This series has seen some explosive games in the past and the highest team score is expected to be 555, while the highest individual score is 188.
Wayne Lincoln, Sporting Index spokesman, said: “All the attention is going to be on KP in this first match and we’re certainly expecting to be bowled over by our punters looking to back him or oppose him.
“He has the talent to win this tour for England, but is his inclusion going to upset the applecart? It promises to be a very interesting few weeks.”
Kevin Pietersen series runs 320
Team Player (England 1st Test runs while KP is at the crease) 142
Kevin Can Wait (Number of England 1st Test runs before KP comes to the crease) 87
Hampshire and Warwickshire meet on Saturday in the CB40 final for the concluding showpiece of the domestic cricket calendar. Hampshire are looking to cap off a superb summer after they clinched the T20 final, although it came at a cost as Dimitri Mascarenhas suffered an injury and will miss the big match. It has all the makings of a classic given that Warwickshire secured the County Championship title.
Jimmy Adams hit an important 44 unbeaten in the semi-final and he’ll be one to watch at Lord’s following an excellent season with the bat. Adams scored 195 runs during his side’s run to the T20 title and has added a couple of half-centuries in the CB40.
Hampshire’s talisman also scored 813 Championship runs in first-class cricket at an average of 47.82 and an unbeaten century in the final game of the season, even though they still narrowly missed out on promotion.
Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter carried England over the line on Sunday to open up a 2-1 series lead following their six wicket victory at Lord’s. Much credit must go to Ian Bell for getting the innings off to a flier with 88 runs from 137 deliveries, but he fell with the finishing line in sight.
With one to play the action moves to Trent Bridge and the Proteas have unhappy memories from the Nottingham ground. The tourists were last here in 2008 and were smashed by ten wickets after being dismissed for just 83 runs. Morgan’s unbeaten 36 on Sunday came on the back of a match winning 73 at the Oval and he looks in great nick, averaging 68 from the three ODIs played in the series.
The Three Lions will be looking for a positive response in the ODI series with South Africa having surrendered their number one Test ranking to the tourists on Monday. Once again much of the media attention has been centred on Kevin Pietersen and the decision to drop him from the one-day series with the Proteas and the Twenty20 World Cup.
England could have done with KP in the mammoth run chase set at Lord’s, but the Three Lions have certainly had the beating of the tourists in the shorter format when on English soil. The two nations have met 16 times in England and it’s the Three Lions that lead the head-to-head 10-5, with one tie.
It was the weather that played the deciding factor in South Africa’s last ODI in 2008 as just three overs were bowled at Cardiff. Before that fixture England had won the previous six successive ODIs against the Proteas in England.
With all the latest controversy surrounding Kevin Pietersen it’s vital England don’t lose sight of the importance of the final Test against South Africa. It’s simple, if South Africa win they replace the Three Lions at the top of the Test rankings in what has been a difficult twelve months for Andy Flower.
England fought back well in the Headingley contest, but the weather put paid to any chances of leveling the series. That could be crucial given South Africa’s impressive record at Lord’s.
It finished all square when these two Test nations last met at Lord’s to make it five Test matches without defeat here for the tourists– a run stretching back to 1960. In that period there have been three defeats and two draws.
Another concern will be that Graeme Smith loves playing at this historic ground with a highest score total of 259 and an average of 124.66.